EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


August 14, 2013

Haverhill police officers' suspension appeal denied for second time

Officers also cited for 'covering up' shoddy police work

HAVERHILL — The state Civil Service Commission has rejected a second bid by two Haverhill police officers to have their suspensions reversed after they were found to have given preferential treatment to a former state trooper who crashed his SUV in Haverhill.

The Aug. 8 ruling — which reiterates a prior ruling the commission made in the case — paves the way for the officers to appeal their suspensions to Superior Court, which the police union has said the officers intend to do.

The Haverhill officers — Lt. William Leeman and patrolman Christopher Pagliuca — were suspended without pay for ten and five days, respectively, for violating police rules and ethical standards, as well as unsatisfactory performance.

According to police reports, Charles Noyes, a retired state police lieutenant colonel, crashed his Cadillac Escalade in West Newbury on March 30, 2012, then kept driving with his air bags deployed until police found him in the travel lane just over the Haverhill line. The crash snapped a utility pole on Route 113 in West Newbury, cutting power to the surrounding area for almost 11 hours. Several police officers and medics at the scene testified that they believed Noyes to be intoxicated, but Noyes was not charged with drunk driving and he was not arrested.

An internal Haverhill police investigation concluded that Noyes was given special treatment by West Newbury and Haverhill police officers due to his previous state police position, and that officers acted to cover up their actions in investigating the incident. The probe specifically faulted the officers for not charging Noyes with drunken driving and for not arresting him at the scene.

Noyes eventually was sentenced in Newburyport District Court to six months of unsupervised probation after admitting there were sufficient facts to find him guilty of negligent driving and leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage — a charge filed by West Newbury police.

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